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Fatbiking Kendall Peak In Washington State

Even though fatbiking is gaining popularity in such outdoorsy states as Alaska, Oregon, California, Colorado, Utah, in Washington state it's still relatively new and exotic. I can personally attest that these kooky-looking bikes attract a lot of eyeballs, and everybody wants to talk to you, and give it a try.

Over the past few years fatbike popularity has skyrocketed. More and more fatbikes and fatbike brands are springing up ranging from cheap Walmart brands to expensive adventure racing and hunting specific.

Many "hard core cyclists" see these bikes with the clown sized tires as silly and unnecessary. While most definitely fatbikes are not for everyone, they aren’t just a passing fad, and they're here to stay.

Personally for me, fatbikes are all about possibilities and fun ( but I've got to admit, it's kinda cool to get all that attention too :)) !

Last year was my first time taking my fatbike on a ride along the Iron Horse Trail at Snoqualmie, one of the best places for fatbikng in central Washington. Even though it was at the end of the season, and the trail was mostly snow free,  I had tons of fun cruising along Keechelus Lake taking in all the beautiful views around me !

Originally, fatbikes were mountain bikes with bigger tires, and larger size forks. So I figured, that's where my fatbike belongs to - in the mountains !

This time, I decided to take my bike on a steep ride up Kendall Peak trail.

In winter, Kendall Peak Lakes trail is very popular among local snowshoers, and cross country skiers. It's a challenging trip with a steady uphill gain of 1,700 feet in 4.5 miles. The trail is an old roadbed, starting off at the Gold Creek Sno-Park. Easy to follow, the road winds its way up, with spotty views out to Rampart Ridge and Gold Creek valley, the Snoqualmie Ski Area and Mount Catherine.

It was my first time on the trail, and I had no idea what to expect. But being a sucker for a good workout, and amazing views, I headed out with the intention to summit, and to take breath-taking pics with my beloved fatbike.

My favorite guide book Washington Snowshoe Routes grades this trail as "challenging" ( for hikers, snowshoers, and skiers ). Now, you can only imagine how challenging it was to push my fatbike up that trail. Long story short, 2 hours into my ascent, I decided to tun back. Truth to tell, this time I was more excited about my ride downhill than my workout to the top, and beautiful pictures. 

And this is a disappointing part of the story. Cheap Walmart fatbikes like my Mongoose don't perform well in the snow on steep hill ( both down and uphill ). Yet, the way down was easy, fast, and fun !

As I've mentioned above, fatbikng, especially in Washington state, is still growing in popularity. Personally, I find fatbiking to  be a great alternative to snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Even if you don't find fatbiking to be that much fun ( or simply can't afford an affordable fatbike ), many ski areas around the country offer fatbikng rentals, and it's a great way to try a new winter activity !

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